If there’s anything we’ve learned as mothers it’s to expect the unexpected and to keep an open mind. To be prepared for anything. Because this is one area of life you just never know what’s going to happen!
For me, I had the goal of breastfeeding my first son until he was one year old. But that turned into nursing him into toddlerhood. It was a pleasant surprise that was very beneficial to the both of us; something I am glad I didn’t doubt myself on.
This is the perfect example in my life of how listening to my inner voice and reading my son’s cues proved to be successful. Everyone’s going to have an opinion, but in the end the best thing we can do is do what we think is best for our little ones.
Here’s why I find nursing your toddler to be beneficial for the both of you (as a mother and a lactation consultant):
1. It’s nutritious + packed with vitamins ?
Toddlers can be super picky when it comes to eating. One day they gobble down plates full of black beans, strawberries and cheese and the next day all they want are Goldfish crackers. Knowing that your toddler is still receiving vitamins and nutrients from breastfeeding can put your mind at ease during those finicky days. The immune boost during cold and flu season is not so bad either!
2. No dilly-dallying! ⌚
Nursing a toddler is quick and to the point; they know what they’re doing. They can pretty much “serve” themselves at this stage. You don’t have to worry about all the gadgets— boppy, pillows, breastfeeding props. They usually know how to ask for milk, whether it be verbally or with a sign. Toddler nursing sessions are quick, typically 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Effective calm down method ?
Nursing is like a secret magic trick you have in your back pocket at all times. It’s the quickest way to heal a boo-boo or calm a tantrum. Did your little guy fall down on the playground and scrape his knee? Nursing makes it all better. Your daughter can’t watch 26 episodes of Elmo’s World? Nursing can calm the most intense Elmo meltdowns around. Cuddled up in mama’s arms is the best place to be when the world gets a little scary.
4. Time to bond with your child. ?
Whether you go back to work or stay at home, life with a toddler can be hectic. Nursing before bed was a special time for the two of us to reconnect and calm down together. Rocking, nursing, and getting ready for bed with a song or a story can create lasting memories for you and your little one!
5. A powerful connection. ❤️
Spending so much time nursing my son into toddlerhood gave me the opportunity to be able to learn more about his personality. If he was anxious or sad he would run right over and hop up into my lap to nurse. These moments taught me so much about who he was and when he needed me the most.